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International Office

STEM Optional Practical Training 

What is STEM OPT?

Who are eligible for the 24-month STEM application?

What new benefits does the 24-month STEM facilitate?

What new obligations does STEM generate?

STEM Optional Practical Training: F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, are employed by employers enrolled in E-Verify, and who have received an initial grant of post-completion OPT related to such a degree, may apply for a 24-month extension which extends OPT for another 24 months making a total of 3 years of OPT period. STEM OPT workshops are available throughout the semester.

Severe Economic Hardship.  A Fresno State student must be in F-1 status for one full academic year before he or she is eligible to apply for a severe economic hardship authorization. If on-campus employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship. Circumstances beyond the student’s control that have occurred since the student enrolled at the university will be considered. The International Student Advisor at the International Office assists in processing the application for this work permit. If approved, authorization is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Important Forms and Documents